ARIS is Here!

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, March 9, 2009 | Published in

Trinity College just released their very expansive American Religious Identification Survey and the numbers show some very interesting trends. For instance, the domain of Catholics has shifted from the Northeast to the Southwest. It is speculated that the decrease in the Northeast is due to high level of education and the backlash of the priest scandals while the increase in the Southwest is caused by the recent influx of Hispanics who are historically very Catholic.

The number of Christians in general declined from 86.2% in the early 90's to 76% today with the biggest dip coming from mainline Protestant groups. Quite a few other groups had a decline as a proportion of the population too including Baptists, Mormons, Jews, and the generic category "Eastern Religions".

All of this means that the number of non-religious people in the United States has increased... kinda. While 12 percent of people say that they either believe in no god or are unsure about the whole matter, only 1.6% actually label themselves as atheist/agnostic. To me, this shows one of two things: A) the religious education in the United State is so poor that people don't actually know what they believe in or B) the "A" word still has a sharp stigma attached to it.

I'm always disappointed that there is never an irreligion category in these surveys. It'd be interesting to know exactly how many people identify themselves as Discordians, Subgenii, FSMists, etc. Then again, knowing those groups we'd purposely fuck with the survey takers to skew their data.

(USA Today has a very good article and various graphs and charts on this including state-by-state breakdowns. As always Indiana is exactly average in every category.)


  1. Anonymous

    LMAO. Too true!

    March 25, 2009 at 9:13 PM

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